Here's one more NAIAS scoop: Chrysler's upscale version of the Dodge Durango,
to be sold as the
Will Chrysler go ahead with a Viper spin-off? It hasn't been confirmed, but it seems likely that the Firepower from the recent auto-show season will be approved. Under the hood of the concept vehicle lurks a 6.1-liter, 425-horsepower version of the well-received Chrysler HEMI. It would drive the Viper-derived sports car from 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed estimated at 174 mph.
The new Sebring convertible will ride atop a platform penned by Mitsubishi, but will be powered by Chrysler's own engines and will not be a Lancer clone. The Sebring sedan is expected to arrive in the fall of 2006, and the convertible - shown here - should be at dealerships in the spring of 2007, as an early 2008 model. The ragtop shown on this test mule is a fake: the real vehicle will sport a hardtop convertible roof. The Sebring will be built at Chrysler's Sterling Heights, Mich., plant.
COMING: New mid-size sedans will be spun from the new Neon replacement. Replacements for minivans are due after 2007.
A new concept coupe to be shown at the
will appear in
The Nitro SUV sported about the
auto-show circuit will become a production reality, Dodge says. The Dodge
version will be the first mid-size SUV for the brand that pioneered the mid-size
truck segment with the Dakota. A few inches longer than today's Jeep Liberty,
the Nitro shares much of the
Detroit's inhospitable weather in January has never prevented the auto show from going on - even in the blizzard year of 1999. But few automakers dare to take their displays out of the show hall - much less outside - due to the city's subfreezing temperatures during the media days. But Jeep is bucking that trend: the brand that crashed its Grand Cherokee through a plate-glass window in a Detroit debut will build a mountain across the street from Cobo Hall and stage the debut of the new Wrangler two-door and the Jeep Compass on the man-made creation outside of Cobo, the Detroit News reports. The display dodges the creative limitations of Cobo Hall while bringing the display in line with the Camp Jeep displays set up at other auto shows on the circuit, including Chicago and New York. The News reports that the hill will rise opposite Cobo Hall in the forecourt of the Hotel Pontchartrain, and will be created by Mars Advertising of Pontiac, Mich.
Mercedes-Benz will show the new GL-Class sport-ute at the
The wheel base of the GL-class measures 121.1 inches; it sits 200.4 inches long, is 75.6 inches wide and 72.4 inches tall. The GL-Class can accommodate seven passengers on three rows of seats. The third row has 32 inches of leg room and 38.5 inches of head room. When that row is not in needed, one or both of the split-bench seats can be fully automatically lowered to create a flat floor. Luggage space measures 43.8 cubic feet when the third row is not in use and can be expanded to 75.1 cubic feet.
Engine choices depend on the market where the GL is sold. There are two diesel engines, the 320 CDI V-6 with 224 hp and the 420 CDI V-8. The GL 450 will be available with a 4.6-liter V8 with 340 hp and the GL 500 will come with the 388 hp V-8. AMG versions are expected. All engines are teamed with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The new Mercedes-Benz will be equipped with 4Matic full time all-wheel drive, ADS adaptive damping, standard air suspension and Airmatic automatic leveling, as well as Trailer Stability Assist (TSA). Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) and off-road ABS will help the driver in rough terrain.
Just like the ML- and R-Class vehicles, the new GL-class will be built in
COMING: For the 2008 model year, Mercedes will have at least two new vehicles. The Mercedes CL will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006, and will go on sale shortly afterwards. Slightly bigger and with a more aggressive stance, features may include drive-by-wire, an automatic lane guidance system and active steering, as well as parking assist cameras in the side mirrors and front grille. Engine offerings are expected to include a new 480-hp direction-injection 5.5-liter V-8 for the new CL550, with the CL600 equipped with the current 5.5-liter V-12 twin-turbo. The AMG version will be powered by a normally aspirated 500-hp 6.3-liter V-8.
And finally, the entry-level four-door, the C-Class is being revamped for the 2008 model year. The next generation C-Class will arrive in the 2007 calendar year, followed twelve months later by the wagon version. The rear-wheel-drive sedan will be the first powered with Benz' KDI EVT (electronic valvetrain without camshafts; supercharged and direct-injected) engines, and will incorporate other new technologies including the third-generation 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. But as independent and modern as the new C-Class looks, it will be sharing even more component-wise with E- and S-Class models.
Smart's U.S. plans are on hold, with the announcement that development of the formore SUV has been halted.